Japan joins the war on Ebola by sending protective gear to West Africa

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TOKYO, JAPAN – West-African nations hit hard by the Ebola outbreak are getting some help that’s made in Japan.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is sending 100,000 sets of protective gear, like clothes, gloves, and goggles. The first batch will go to Sierra Leone and to Liberia, where the outbreak is now called a “dire emergency.”

The Tokyo government keeps this stuff around in case of flu outbreaks.

The World Health Organization says Ebola has killed 2, 288 people. About a thousand of those died in the past three weeks, with several thousand more cases expected in the next three weeks.

A shortage of hospital beds and taxi cabs are two reasons for the exponential increase in infections.

Patients and their families jump into cabs, looking for a hospital to take them. But when they can’t find one, they take the taxis back to their villages, spreading the virus inside the cabs, and among their family and friends back home.

A fourth, unidentified American patient continues getting treatment at Emory University in Atlanta. He became infected in Sierra Leone. But there may be more Americans exposed that we don’t know about.

The vice president of Phoenix Air Group says the State Department has used his air ambulances to transport other people exposed to Ebola.

He’s not saying how many, but he says they were okay, most of the time. But “most of the time” probably isn’t good enough when dealing with a deadly virus.